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MD Shares the Oatmeal Diet Helping Women Over 50 Lose Fast — It’s Easy + Delicious

Studies show the right kind of oatmeal with smart extras can fire up fat burning — for hours

If a meal that sticks to your ribs and shrinks your waist sounds good right about now, there’s a delicious new breakfast trend you should try. “Adding superfood mix-ins to oatmeal has become very popular, and it takes this extraordinarily healthful whole grain to a whole new level”, says Yale-trained healthy aging expert Nicholas Perricone, MD. Turns out, pairing some of our favorite superfoods with the special fiber in oats can boost weight loss. Experts and regular folks alike say a bowlful each morning slashes appetite all day and prompts fat to burn faster. Just as 69-year-old Martha Glantz, who shed 86 pounds after discovering the powerful benefits of the oatmeal diet. Keep reading to learn how a hearty bowl of oatmeal triggers weight loss, plus the add-ins you can use to get even faster results.

How an oatmeal diet boosts fat burning

Oatmeal can do pretty amazing things all on its own. Case in point: Oats are a top source of resistant starch, “a fiber-like compound that’s the unsung hero of weight control,” says Dr. Perricone, bestselling author of Forever Young and The Perricone Weight-Loss Diet. “Studies on resistant starch show one serving speeds the rate at which the body burns fat by more than 20% for an amazing 24 hours.” (Sweet potatoes are another excellent source of resistant starch. Click through to learn about the health benefits of sweet potatoes.)

As if that weren’t impressive enough, British and Chinese scientists conducted a study on type 2 diabetics to determine oats impact on health. The findings: Eating one cup of oats daily not only boosted weight loss, it triggered a significant increase in belly-fat burning all while helping keep blood sugar stable.

The explanation? According to Louisiana State University researcher Candida Rebello, PhD, oats contain a jackpot of beta-glucan. This type of fiber that helps create a sort of sticky barrier inside us that traps nutrients for up to 10 hours and releasing them very slowly and from deep in the digestive tract. It’s a trick proven to help shrink appetite by 400 calories and shift hormones so ab flab quickly turns to energy. (Click through for more on the benefits of beta-glucan.)

What you eat on the oatmeal diet

While following the oatmeal diet, you simply start off your day with a bowl of healthy and satiating oatmeal. Experts suggest 1 cup of cooked oats with 2-3 servings of “turbo toppings” — those are superfoods that can make the healthful benefits of oatmeal even more powerful (more on those below).

Which type of oatmeal to choose? Steel-cut may be the best option for folks aiming to slim. The reason: It undergoes less processing compared to old-fashioned or rolled oats, and that preserves more of the healthful fiber and nutrients. Plus, steel-cut oats take longer for you to digest, leading to fewer blood sugar spikes and better overall energy.

Beyond oatmeal, opt for unprocessed fare as often as possible — and savor your food, aiming to stop eating when lightly full.

RELATED: Nutritionists Say This Prep Shortcut Makes Oats 4 Times Healthier & Tastes Great Too

The #1 oatmeal add-in that helps boost weight loss

The right toppings can take your oatmeal from satiating breakfast to supercharged fat burner. One of the best options is coconut oil. Turns out, it’s loaded with medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), a type of fatty acid. MCTs create a blast of heat as they digest, helping to increase metabolism, says Dr. Perricone. And it’s an effect that can impact midsections most: Columbia University scientists found that MCTs can increase belly-fat burn by 600 percent. To do, add 1 Tbs. of coconut oil as you’re cooking 1 cup steel-cut oats.

Coconut is nature’s top source of MCTs, a type of fatty acid proven to stimulate metabolism as it digests. Indeed, Italian scientists found that MCT fatty acids in coconut amp up metabolism to burn three times more calories for six hours after we eat. For an extra creamy treat, try coconut milk instead of water or dairy milk while cooking your oatmeal.

RELATED: Adding a Few Spoonfuls of Coconut Oil to Your Diet Can Speed Metabolism

3 more oatmeal add-ins to try

We’ve rounded up the best fat-incinerating oatmeal toppers below to turbocharge your results. All you have to do is whip up an option that appeals to you — and watch the pounds fall away:

1. Almonds

Almonds brim with protein and healthy fats, making them a great addition to round out a bowl of oatmeal. In fact, Loma Linda University scientists found that almond-rich diets stimulate 62% more weight loss and trigger key benefits of the keto diet without cutting carbs. Plus, in a separate Frontiers in Nutrition study, subjects who ate almonds lowered their total cholesterol 334% more than those who skipped the nuts. They also had better insulin response and blood sugar control. The nuts can also tamp down hunger, helping you to eat 250 fewer calories daily with little effort.

2. Blueberries

Research out of Harvard reveals these juicy gems can speed metabolism and block fat absorption. Credit goes to antioxidant compounds called anthocyanins. You’ll find anthocyanins in most berries, but blueberries are one of the best sources. These powerhouse nutrients are also known to enhance insulin sensitivity, lowering risk for energy-draining blood sugar swings and type 2 diabetes.

3. Flaxseed

These tiny seeds have a bevy of satiating nutrients, like protein and fiber. Indeed, a review of 25 studies reveals they can lower blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity. The researchers credit soluble fiber in flaxseeds, which slows sugar absorption. This fiber can also help reduce hunger and appetite, so you eat fewer calories — and don’t even notice! What’s more, flaxseeds are rich in ALA, a type of omega-3 fatty acid that seems to zap fat-storage hormones and double weight loss.

RELATED: The Benefits of Flaxseed (Plus 4 Ways to Easily Add It to Your Diet)

Oatmeal diet before and after: Martha Glantz, 69

Before and after of Martha Glantz who lost 86 lbs with the oatmeal diet
Michael Keel

After years of crazy diets, “I finally set a reasonable goal to stay under 2,000 calories a day,” recalls New York retiree Martha Glantz, 69. She’d grown up with oatmeal (her dad worked at Quaker Oats!), so she knew she could rely on it to control her hunger. For good measure, she added toppings she read would speed weight loss: flax, almonds, fruit. “For many years, I believed a calorie is a calorie. But when I started eating more oatmeal and other plant foods, I was losing more,” she reveals. Her cravings disappeared and her energy soared, and Martha found her appetite and waist shrank pretty effortlessly. She began aiming for 10,000 steps a day, and “my clothes were falling off.”

All told, Martha shed 86 pounds. “As someone in her 60s, I like letting people know that you can lose weight at any age — and it can be done without starving or depriving yourself,” shares Martha. Even if you’re not ready to commit to a big overhaul of your diet, you can always make yourself up a nice bowl of oatmeal with superfood toppings. “It’s a little thing that makes a big difference!”

For more small changes that can lead to big weight loss, check out these stories:

MD Reveals the Protein Pasta Tip That’s Helping Women Over 50 Lose a Meno-Belly

A Daily Scoop of Collagen Shown to Speed Weight Loss in Women Over 50

This Surprise Olive Oil Trick Is Helping Women Over 50 Lose Weight Effortlessly

A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.

This content is not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always consult your physician before pursuing any treatment plan.

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